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Rail Gun, full auto? Answered

unless i am mistaken, rail guns use high voltage rails, and conduct through the rails and a projectile... not unlike jacobs ladders. if we took a jacobs ladder and made the rails parallel, they could be used as a rail gun. right? if so... what's to stop us from having a gravity feed rail gun, something that rols a ball bearing or some such metallic ball or rod onto the rails to be shot down, the moment the first projectile isn't touching the rails, the new one rolls on... say... power it with a cordless drill battery and step the voltage up with a wallwart transformer? if we can make portable tesla coils... a rail gun doesn't seem so far fetched. granted, this post isn't using any technical jargon so you probably all think i'm an idiot, but i do believe that it's possible. my knowledge of rail guns is fairly rudimentary. any ideas? it would obviously be VERY low velocity... but if you were to make it stationary, you could upsize it and run it through a large MOT from a microwave, or a transformer from a UPS or something equally massive and... well... have a fullly automatic rail gun turret-y thing? yes? 



5 years ago

No a Jacobs ladder will not work as a rail gun. The main difference is a rail gun requires way more power then a Jacobs ladder uses. A rail gun requires a large bank of capacitors to store the high voltage charge and allow that power to be discharged all at once to move the projectile. The need for a bank of capacitors limits how fast a rail gun can fire. Unless you use several banks so by the time you've used the last set of capacitors the first is charged and ready to fire again.

The Navy has been developing a rail gun for quite a while now. I believe they even have a test platform installed on one of there ships. Have a look at what it takes to have an effective rail gun. Anything portable won't be any more powerful than a BB gun.